Times reader: “Forget about all this Gerrymandering. Wake up. We are still voting as though we were living in Walpole’s era

In the Times today, an article by its political editor Francis Elliott was headed: “ Labour faces the loss of 24 seats after redrawing of electoral map”.

It stated that of the 50 Commons seats to be cut Labour loses almost half — 24 — while the Tories suffer only 14 losses. New rules which allow for seats that straddle county boundaries are set to benefit the Tories in a series of marginals: Harlow, Stevenage, Great Yarmouth and Carlisle will become far more ‘blue’.

The first draft of the new map, based on electoral registers released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics, will be produced by the Boundary Commission in September and finalised two years later, but the Telegraph produced its own estimate in May 2015:

How the map would look under the new boundaries:

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One reader pointed out that making all votes equal is the requirement of democracy only in a first past the post voting system. Even if all constituencies had exactly the same number of voters a democratic outcome would not be achieved.

Katie Ghose, chief executive of Electoral Reform, said: “The constituencies which saw the biggest drop (in seats) are largely student seats and deprived areas — groups which are already under-represented. The areas with the biggest rise are largely wealthier areas. This patchy picture means electoral registration, and the number of parliamentary seats representing each area, is getting more unequal by the year.”

Last word from a Times reader: “Forget about all this Gerrymandering. Wake up. We are still voting as though we were living in Walpole’s era. Politics has changed and so must voting behaviour” – and systems.

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Posted on February 26, 2016, in Civil servants, Conflict of interest, Democracy undermined, Government, Inequality, Legal issues, MPs, Politics, Vested interests and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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